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Have you ever had one of the UK’s best-ever cars to own?

With the 2024 results of the Driver Power car customer satisfaction survey about to land, let’s take a look at which cars have triumphed down the years…

Driver Power’s best ever cars to own

The Driver Power survey has been collecting a treasure trove of valuable information on what UK motorists think of their cars for more than two decades. We’re about to take delivery of the 2024 instalment, so now feels very much like the time to look back at the models that owners themselves have identified as the best cars to own in the UK. 

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The Driver Power 2024 new car survey will land on 12 June. You can be one of the first to read it by subscribing to Auto Express magazine before 4 June. That way, the first issue delivered to your door will be the big Driver Power 2024 special and you’ll have that crucial car-buying guide in print format to refer to at your leisure. 

Auto Express is famous for its expert car reviews from some of the most respected journalists and road testers in the automotive industry, but Driver Power is all about what you think about your car. We rely on thousands of UK motorists who take the time every year to complete the Driver Power survey. They feed back their experience with their vehicles, rating them across a range of different criteria – from reliability and build quality, to how well the infotainment system works. 

The Driver Power results give a hugely useful alternative view on the strengths and weaknesses of popular cars, from the people who are actually living with those cars day-in and day-out. As a tool for prospective car buyers, Driver Power really is unmatched. 

Driver Power’s best ever cars to own

Over the years, a wide range of different models have come out on top in the Driver Power new-car survey. Let us know if you’ve ever owned any of them, and what you thought of them, in the comments below.    

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Skoda has claimed victory in the Driver Power new car survey no fewer than six times, making it the most successful brand overall. The car that stands out as a Driver Power legend is the Skoda Yeti, with its three consecutive victories from 2012 to 2014. The Yeti was a hugely influential car for Skoda; a compact SUV that won hearts with its chunky design and kept in owners’ good books with its fun driving experience and a raft of practical touches. In many ways, the Yeti did the groundwork for what the Skoda brand has become, and Skoda looks set to reimagine some of those Yeti themes with its new entry-level Epiq EV in 2025.   

More recently, Kia and Hyundai have topped the Driver Power new-car survey for three of the last four years. The Korean sister brands have taken four Driver Power ‘best car to own’ crowns in total and their performance in the recent surveys has reflected their growth and development in the UK car market generally. 

Back in the early 2000s, and even when the Hyundai i30 won in 2010, these were still ‘budget’ brands competing mainly on price and value. Today, Hyundai and Kia are firmly entrenched in the mainstream with design and technology to challenge and beat the likes of Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota. The long warranties, advanced electrified powertrains and strong reliability have gone down a storm with owners – as the Driver Power results show.

Lexus has only claimed a single new-car survey win (in 2015 with the IS), but we couldn’t avoid mentioning one of the brands with the best overall performances since the rundown began in 2002. Lexus has been trying to muscle in on the premium end of the UK car market for years, with varying levels of success. But what’s not in doubt is that Lexus owners love the products.

While car journalists may have traditionally favoured the sharper driving experiences of the German establishment, people who own Lexus cars generally don’t feel like they’re missing out on very much. Lexus was named as the top brand in the Driver Power survey for four consecutive years between 2017 and 2020. It also won the ‘best car manufacturer’ title in 2013 and 2015, such was the goodwill emanating from its customers. 

Do you remember the past winners of the Driver Power new-car survey? Have you ever owned one? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to Auto Express before 4 June to get your 2024 Driver Power special issue…

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Head of digital content

Steve looks after the Auto Express website; planning new content, growing online traffic and managing the web team. He’s been a motoring journalist, road tester and editor for over 20 years, contributing to titles including MSN Cars, Auto Trader, The Scotsman and The Wall Street Journal.

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